19 October 2018
Standards of our society are changing rapidly and hopefully someday we will eliminate the issue of sexually objectifying women. We often see this as an insignificant issue, because it’s been more than a decade, since we are portraying women for sex appeal, which has made all of us including women, ignorant. This issue has been normalized by high authorities like media industry, because all they care about is making money by bringing the most effective marketing techniques. The normalization of sexually objectifying women is giving the industry more leverage to do so. If you start seeing advertisements from the past 50 years to date, you will notice how we are making women look more desirable. The objectifying is clearer, that even a teenager can analyze what the advertisement is referring to. The phrase “sexual objectification” has been around since the 1970s. Women have been objectified for as long as women have been used for men’s sexual pleasure. If earlier it meant strip tease shows, brothels, and pornographic art, today, it is rampant in our mainstream pop-culture. The more men are exposed to objectifying depictions, the more they will think of women as entities that exist for men’s sexual gratification (specific sexual scripting), and that this dehumanized perspective on women may then be used to inform attitudes regarding sexual violence against women (abstract sexual script).It is this sense of entitlement that men feel, that leads to sexual assault and rapes (Wright).
For today’s article I am analyzing Skyy Vodka’s ad campaign. Every campaign they have ever had is all about women giving pleasure to men. You will rarely see a man, and mostly in suit showing power, success, money and classiness, because we live in a male dominant society and education has still not reached the mark, that we collectively start humanizing women. Not only men, but even women enjoy these ads, as this marketing technique has been around for so long. It’s high time that we start viewing this as a real issue. When women are seen as objects, it’s easy to treat them that way, which often leads to harassment. And, in the past few years rapes and assaults have increased tremendously.
Firstly, let’s depict what the Skyy Vodka campaign pictures are conveying. In the one I showed specifically, they are advertising their new SKYY Vodka Infusions Line Cherry. You can see their famous cobalt blue bottle in the center with two attractive female from each race off to each side of the bottle with one one cherry in both of their mouths, and the stems are connected to the center of the bottle. The other pictures include grape vines being used as restraints, half naked women in sexual poses mainly focusing on the most desirable parts and they are enhancing those most sexual parts of a female body e.g. well-manicured hands with red nail paint, red shiny lipstick, as well as naked parts are shown to be sleek and smooth. Men surrounded by, and dominating women and vice versa. The article ‘Photography Skyy Vodka’ states, “Farmer says it would be hampered today by legal restrictions, and beyond that, all unflavored vodkas are more or less identical. So he prefers to focus on the brand’s “retro cocktail culture image,” as he calls it. And in the realm of perception, it can be argued that Skyy rules the photographic booze roost, first with Moshe Brakha, then, in 2000, with a switch to Matthew Rolston. “We’re interested in owning the idea of contemporary cocktail culture and defining what that looks like and feels like,” Farmer explains.” (Kattleman).
Skyy Vodka’s campaign is mostly using pathos by intensely triggering one’s sexual desires. The purpose of this advertisement campaign is to display sex appeal to make audience who are into drinking want to buy this particular vodka, through an emotional connection and urge to achieve this. For women if they purchase Skyy Vodka they will become sexually perfect and desirable to their partner just like the females in the pictures. They will also pathologically connect with the sex appeal it gives and will desire to attain it. And for men they will become successful, powerful, and dominant and will attract and can be around hot females. They are showing seductive scenarios with the vodka, which is mainly targeting the youth, both genders, that have just started or have hit the age of drinking, as well as people who love drinking or are intimidated by sexual scenarios. According to the Journal of Public Policy and Marketing;
“A review of the neuroscience, psychology and marketing literatures concluded that adolescents, because of how the human brain develops, may be particularly attracted to branded products such as alcohol that are associated with risky behavior and that provide, in their view, immediate gratification, thrills and/or social status.” (C. Pechmann). These ads display the use of risky behavior in a sexual way and visualize the pleasure obtained after drinking their product. This technique is specially targeted towards the young and influenced.
This ad campaign will also make Skyy Vodka interest consumer’s when they want a classy and calm night out. This ad is posted on certain mediums, like famous magazines e.g. cosmopolitan which will attract decent readers. And also shown on television at peek seasons like super bowl when the consumers are most likely to drink and watch. Skyy Vodka aims to show consumers the elegance and grace of drinking their vodka alongside the sexuality. The advertisements aims to set the scene for possible situations that may occur after consuming Skyy Vodka in hopes of making viewers regular consumers. According to the “Skyy Vodka Case Study”, their sex appeal tactic increased their marketing and retained their growth, hence they continued sexualizing advertisements by objectifying women even more, campaign after campaign. Advertisers for Skyy Vodka chose to specifically target men by using scantily clad women and sexual innuendos to catch attention. In another journal about Skyy Vodka’s cover story they quoted “”They are all sexy, provocative and very colorful,” Hearn says. “They really capture the attention and individuality of our consumer.”(Bruss), where the brand directors of Skyy Vodka are being questioned about their rapid success, and once again they are talking about the advertisement tactics.
This ad campaign is an eye opener for most of the educated and critical thinkers of our society, as it unveils the masks of the advertisers and brand directors. It really does a good job with its ethos, logos and pathos to convince people in buying this product. The purpose of this advertisement is to manipulate one’s mind by triggering the urge of sex in them, by sexualizing women. Its high time that we start considering sexual objectification as a crime, and build some laws against it, or at least make people around us realize, that women are humans too, and they need equal amount of respect and power of decision in our society. The rhetorical analysis of this ad campaign, infact all the ad campaigns of this brand, is to look at this entire campaign from a different perspective and try to bring people to talk about it for a change.
Bruss, Jill. “SKYY VODKA. (Cover Story).” Beverage Industry, vol. 91, no. 10, Oct. 2000, p. 48. EBSCOhost, chaffey.idm.oclc.org/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=bth&AN=3764502&site=ehost-live. This journal is interviewing the brand directors of Skyy vodka, and they are describing their advertisement tactics. I will use this journal to argue about how they are accepting their sexism and objectifying women to sell their brand. This is a scholarly journal, therefore credible.
- Pechmann, L. Levine, et al., “Impulsive and self-conscious: Adolescents’ vulnerability to advertising and promotion,” Journal of Public Policy and Marketing24 (2005): 202-221. This is also a credible scholarly journal which talks about how can the young minds be manipulated into buying products, that are associated with fears, sex etc. I am using this to explain why Skyy Vodka targets youth by emotional connections.
Kattleman, Terry. “Photography Skyy Vodka.” CREATIVITY, vol. 10, no. 9, Nov. 2002, p. 60. EBSCOhost, chaffey.idm.oclc.org/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=bth&AN=8920962&site=ehost-live. This journal talks about the ad campaign of Skyy vodka. It’s depicting the sexism in the photography and how it increased their market value, hence they kept objectifying women even more. I will use this to argue pathos by proving sexism in their ad campaign. This is a scholarly journal which automatically gives it credibility.
“Skyy Vodka Case Study.” Skyy Vodka Case Study: Creating Differentiation in the Premium Vodka Market, Nov. 2009, pp. 1–15. EBSCOhost, chaffey.idm.oclc.org/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=bth&AN=54490807&site=ehost-live. This journal analyses the marketing techniques of Skyy vodka. I will use this to portray how they are using sexist egos and logos to sell their brand, as well as evaluate how they are using egos and logos. This is a scholarly journal which automatically gives it credibility.
Wright, P J, and R S Tokunaga. “Men’s Objectifying Media Consumption, Objectification of Women, and Attitudes Supportive of Violence Against Women.” Archives of Sexual Behavior., U.S. National Library of Medicine, May 2016, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26585169?report=abstract.
This journal is about the sexual objectification of women. I am using this to show how men treat women because of these sexual advertisement marketing tactics. This is a scholarly journal, which means it’s credible.